Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI)
Reviewed By: Avraham Azrieli
Avraham Azrieli's latest novel is "Deborah Rising" (HarperCollins 2016), the story of the first woman to lead a nation in human history. www.azrieibooks.com
Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) by Errol A. Gibbs and Marjorie G. Gibbs is a rare flash of brilliant originality in the overlapping genres of Self Help and Spirituality. Successfully fusing personal narratives, academic investigations, original creative concepts, therapeutic process and methodology, and practical ‘takeaways’ for the fortunate reader, this is a must-read not only for the happiness-seeking person, but for anyone interested in the betterment of human society. Perhaps risking an oxymoron, we dare to say that Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) is the most serious examination of happiness in recent times.
The desire for happiness seems to permeate modern life, but it is too often confused with the obsessive acquisition of material possessions and social status. Authors Errol A. Gibbs and Marjorie G. Gibbs set out to explore a basic yet multifaceted and complex question: What is happiness? Not only its origins, its secrets, and its enhancement, but on a personal as well as global level (in their words): “This book introduces a revolutionary new perspective on “Optimum Happiness” (OH), for human survival as a viable species, which is a “higher value” proposition than mere “Happiness.” In our opinion, the authors succeeded in delivering on that goal.
Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) investigates happiness on many levels, connecting it to major life events (the common milestones in a person’s life—childhood, schooling, marriage, family, career, as well as social interplay and social class), as well as examining the effects of wealth and status. But perhaps the ultimate contribution of this cardinal work is the development of the idea that each person has a unique, optimal bundle of happiness, collating the oddly shaped pieces of the puzzle that makes each person’s singular life—spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, financial, and physical—which together combine into a ‘full picture’ of happiness.
Notably, while Discovering Your Optimum “Happiness Index” (OHI) explores the most fundamental questions of human life, the text is highly readable and easily accessible to the everyday reader. The authors share relevant experiences from their lives and personal journeys, while also leading the reader on a journey of discovery and exploration. The work draws from rich and varied sources, and provides some of the most potent (and beautiful) quotes from history’s best thinkers. Our favorite: “The secret of happiness, you see, is not found in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to enjoy less.” ― Socrates (469-399 BCE).
Compounding the benefits of this book’s wonderful examination of happiness in all its stunning human colors, the authors do not shy away from providing the reader with well-founded pathways to self-improvement that would be unquestionably beneficial—truly a multi-tiered gift that can change one’s quality of existence with a healthier and happier life. There are personal examples of what makes the authors happy, self-assessment and improvement opportunities, and breathtakingly broad discussions, quotations, citations, and sources, as well as practical tools, questionnaires, lists and exercises. In summary, this is a brave, deep, and exemplary detailed work that investigates happiness in all its aspects, charts new grounds in understanding happiness, both individually and socially, and provides a wealth of solid resources for readers seeking real, substantive, and lasting personal happiness. Truly indispensable and highly recommended!